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Jackets end Nashville drought with 4-3 win

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With one blast from his stick, James Wisniewski ended a pair of losing streaks for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Antoine Vermette won a draw back to the top of the right circle to Wisniewski, who fired a screened slap shot past Pekka Rinne 2:43 into overtime to give the Jackets a 4-3 win in Nashville on Saturday night -- ending a 17-game losing streak at Bridgestone Arena and giving Columbus its first win in nine road games this season.

"It went straight in, he didn't really move that much," Wisniewski said. "I'm guessing, being the goaltender that he is, he probably got screened. Luckily enough for me."

It was the first goal as a Blue Jacket for Wisniewski, who signed a big free-agent contract with Columbus in July.

“We heard it for too long about how long it’s been since we’d won here,” Jackets coach Scott Arniel said after his team won for the first time in 14 road games, dating back to last season. “It was obviously a nail-biter, but what a relief when that goal (by Wisniewski) went in there at the end.

R.J. Umberger, Jeff Carter and Vinny Prospal also scored for the Blue Jackets, who snapped the longest active victory drought by a team in any city by winning in Nashville for the first time since April 3, 2006.

"It's a weird feeling in here," said Columbus captain Rick Nash, the only player who was part of the team for that win. "But it's a good feeling."

Maybe all the Blue Jackets needed was a change in goaltender. Curtis Sanford, playing his second game with Columbus, improved to 4-0-0 in Nashville.

"There really is no secret," Sanford said of his success there. "It was basically a fresh start for us in this building. We have a lot of new faces in here, myself included. I don't think you can really look at history. This is a new team."

Nashville coach Barry Trotz said the Jackets' win was well-earned.

"They were checking well, and I give Columbus full credit," Trotz said. "Their record is not an indication of how good a team they are. They are very talented and they've been playing pretty well."

Columbus led 3-2 before Jeff Spaling picked up the rebound of Shea Weber's shot from the right point and slid it by goaltender Curtis Sanford with 5:36 left in regulation. Umberger had put the Jackets ahead 1:45 into the final period with a power-play goal, banging home a pass from Ryan Johansen after the rookie center picked up the rebound of Wisniewski's shot.

Nashville's Colin Wilson opened the scoring at 18:29 of the first period, sliding the rebound of David Legwand's shot past Sanford for a power-play goal.

Carter tied it 3:29 into the second with his first goal as a Blue Jacket. He raced down the left side, pulled up in the high slot and took a wrist shot that deflected off Ryan Suter's skate and past Rinne's stick.

Carter was acquired in a trade from the Philadelphia Flyers in the offseason. A foot injury sidelined him for 10 games, and Saturday was only his fourth game back from injured reserve.

Nashville regained the lead on Mike Fisher's power-play goal at 10:27. Fisher grabbed the rebound of Shea Weber's slap shot from the top of the right circle and beat Sanford for his third on the season. Prospal's power-play goal at 12:29 got the Jackets even again.

"I know we sat back a bit in the third period, but we did a lot of good things," Arniel said. "We really pressured the Predators in their end of the rink and got rewarded for it."

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
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